The Battles of
Himera
(480 and 409 BC)

Early Carthaginian vs. Siciliot Greeks

By Stefanos Skarmintzos

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Battle of Himera, 480 B.C.

With mainland Greece occupied with its Persian Wars, the Carthaginians thought that with they would face little problem in conquering the Greek colonies on Sicily. The Greek cause was saved by the ruthless determination of Gelon and Theron, leaders of Akragas and Gela who evicted Carthaginian sympathizers from the Greek cities and put up a determined opposition.

The Carthaginian general Hamilcar with a large army came to aid of the evicted tyrant of Himera, Terilos.  Theron withstood siege and Gelon came to his aid with a smaller but determined army.  Having tricked Hamilcar into accepting some “allied” horsemen from Selinus to compensate for his cavalry shortages cause by the storms during the voyage, Gelon attacked.  While the Hamilcar was engaged in his front, the guard of Himera made a sortie and attacked from the flank. At the same time Hamilcar's “allied” light horsemen attacked his camp and killed him or forced him to commit suicide.

The Armies

This is a 15-element battle. The three extra elements are the troops occupied with the siege of Himera.

Early Carthaginian (Modified) 2x3Cv, 4x4Sp, 1x4Aux(Spanish), 1x3Wb(African), 2x2Ps. (1x3 Aux 1x3Bw) plus beseigers:  1x4Aux(Spanish), 2x2Ps

Siciliot Greek (Early Hoplite Greek, modified): 2x3Cv, 1x2LH o, 6x4Sp, 2x3Aux , 1x2Ps plus garrison of Himera:  1x 4Sp, 1x2Ps, 1x2Ps (dismounted Lh)

Deployment

The Greek is the attacker and deploys first in front of his camp minus the 3 extra elements that deploy in the BUA as the garrison of Himera, with the LH element dismounted.

The Carthaginian deploys normally, except for the three beseiging elements which deploy in the palisade surrounding Himera..

Game Map (ASCII)

===============Roman Baseline====================
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CAMP. S
. . . . . f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S
. . . . f f f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S
. . . . . f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S
. . . . . . . # h h . . . . . . . . . . . . . + +
. . . . . . . . h h . . . . . . . . . . . . + . .
f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . + . BUA
f f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . + . BUA
f . . . . . . . . . . . . s s s s s s s s s s s s
# . . . . . . . . . . . s . . . . . . . . + . BUA
# # . . . . M s s s s s . . . . . . . . . . + . .
s s s s s s s M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . + +
# # . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . h h . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . h h h h . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . h h . . . . . . . . . f
H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . f f
H # f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . f F
# # f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . h h h c
c f f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . h h h c
==============Greek Baseline=====================


SCALE: The space between each dot/letter is one inch.

TERRAIN KEY:

.=Good Going (Good Going)
#=Rough/Broken Ground (Bad Going)
h=Gentle Hill (Good Going)
H=Steep Hill (Impassable)
c=Cliff (Impassable)
f=Light Wood (Bad Going)
F=Heavy Wood (Impassable)
s=Stream
r=River
M=Marsh/Bog (Bad Going)
B=Built Up Area
o=Orchard (Bad Going)
S= Sea(Impassable)
+= palisade

Terrain Notes

The palisade is the Carthaginian earthworks. The BUA is the fortified city of Himera. The stream is the river Himeros and is passable.

Special Rules

The Carthaginian Aux represent the chariot crews that lost their horses and chariots because of the storms that encountered during their voyage. The extra Lh are the suspect allies so Carthaginian LH who flees tries to flee off board and counts as Greek victory point.
The dismounted Greek light horse defends the city as psiloi. If they go out of the city and they are not attacked they can mount up by spending one PIP and not move at this round.

Victory Conditions

Normal DBA.

Background Resources

Herodotus “Histories”.

Special thanks to Jona Ledering for his site www.livy.org .


Battle of Himera 409 B.C.

Hoping to avenge their defeat in 480 BC, the Carthaginians under Hannibal, grandson of Hamilcar, tried a more vigorous campaign in 409 B.C., during which they destroyed a number of Greek cities and finally laid siege to Himera.  Intimidated by the size of the Carthaginian force and their siege train, which included battering rams and seige towers that overtopped the cities walls, the Greeks abandoned the defenses and tried to board every vessel they could find in the harbor with the Carthaginians hot in their heels. The victors after the battle sacrificed all the prisoners at Hamilcar’s grave.  Himera never recovered after that day.

The Armies

Early Carthaginian (Modified) 2x3Cv, 4x4Sp, 1x4Aux(Spanish), 1x3Wb(Gauls), 2x2Ps 2xWw (siege towers)

Siciliot Greek (Early Hoplite Greek, Modified): 6x4Sp, 1x3Aux , 4x2Ps. 1xLh

Game Map (ASCII)

Use the same map, but with the Greek player using the board edge with the Himera BUA as baseline, and the Carthaginian taking the opposite edge.  Also, remove the palisades, which do not exist at this time.

Deployment

The Carthaginian is the attacker and deploys first in front of his camp opposite of Himera
The Greek deploys as far from his baseline as rules allow.

Victory Conditions

In addition to normal victory conditions, the Greek player can win by destroying the two seige towers.  The Carthaginian must avoid Greek victory conditions.


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Last Update:  17 November 2005

Thanks to Stefanos for contributing this scenario.
Comments and feedback welcome and can be sent to Chris Brantley.